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Jane's Game, by Mike Philbin Book Review | SFReader.com
Jane's Game, by Mike Philbin Genre: Horror Publisher: Chimericana Books Published: 2006 Review Posted: 11/12/2007 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 9 out of 10
Jane's Game, by Mike Philbin
Book Review by Ray Wallace
Have you read this book?
Jane Louxis is no ordinary woman. Tall. Thin. Beautiful. A redhead who has made a name for herself walking the runways of the fashion industry. And that's not the half of it. She's also quite mad and suffering from a bout of amnesia when she is found by disgruntled artist Paul Kasparek one fine day, lying naked in his studio beneath a pile of his paintings. What is she doing there? How did she get there? Should Paul call the authorities or maybe get involved in a crazed, sexually charged relationship with her? He chooses the latter, of course, and away we go...
It turns out that Jane isn't really a woman at all but a creation of the Fountains Institute of Molecular Research. This little tidbit of information is not discovered until late in the story or by reading the book's back cover. According to said cover, the Institute "knew what they were doing when they wrote her program, they had written and rewritten her so many times why should this time be any different?" But what was the Institute doing, exactly? What was its objective? To create a nymphomaniac who has suffered a nearly psychotic break with reality and unleash it on the unsuspecting public? If so, then the scientists there succeeded quite admirably. And later, when the plot finally takes us to the Institute, it is really no great surprise to see that Jane's creators are nearly as disturbed as she is.
That said, after I was able to suspend my disbelief I found myself drawn in to much of the insanity upon which Mr. Philbin has based his story. This is not a particularly easy read and is definitely not for everyone, especially readers who are sensitive to extreme sex and violence. Thankfully, I am not one of those readers. The strength of the book is the phantasmagoric approach to its storytelling. Much of the time it is difficult to discern which parts are dream and which are reality. Characters are killed or injured, often strangely and horribly, only to reappear in subsequent chapters relatively healthy and whole. (So I guess that last part... Yeah, it was a dream... Ah, now I get it.) It was fun seeing what depths (or heights) Mr. Philbin would sink to (or reach) in order to tell this tale of loss and lust, pain and pleasure, hate and love(?), and just what it is that makes us human in the first damn place.
My one major complaint of the book, at least regarding the copy that I received, was the excessive number of typos that filled its pages. Hopefully it is an error which is correctible and will be fixed in future pressings.
All told, I liked much of Jane's Game. It's weird. It's different from just about anything else you're likely to put in your Amazon shopping cart. And most of the time it's a hell of a lot of depraved, gory fun. What does that say about me or the others (and we are legion, trust me) who enjoy this sort of thing? Probably nothing we didn't already know.
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